Parenting

Lead with Love:How Mothers Can Use Their Greatest Strength to Manage Around Their Technical Weakness


My wife and I have been working on a video scrapbook for our son now for about a year. The project originally started out as a movie of all of our video clips but it was immediately apparent that this scope was far too great. As time went by and as more and more full DV tapes stacked up, we narrowed the scope to be just the first six months of his life instead.

But even this seemed to be a Herculean task. Where were we going to find the time to go through all of our tapes and catalog clips into their subjects and time indexes? Add this to the time it takes to transfer the footage to the PC, assimilate the clips in order, narrate specific clips, add music, transitions, titles, make a DVD menu and burn it to DVD and you can see that the time costs seem to far outweigh the return.

But this value assessment is only half the story because I saw the determined look in my wife's eyes as she sat at the PC the other night putting the movie together after almost six months of not even touching it.

She wasn't happy about getting back to the project once she opened it up and got going because half the files weren't there anymore. You see, I am anal-retentive about my computer files and about two weeks ago I went through a massive reorganization of my digital photographs. Oops, I forgot that we had about 40 pictures in the video scrapbook and moving them around meant big gaping holes in the movie. It took about an hour of her to repair the damage.

But she did it. And she had fun while doing it.

She went at it for about two more hours after that and she felt completely accomplished after it was over. Now, I find myself remembering back when we made our first movie-a memento of when our two little nieces visited us in Cincinnati. I followed my wife and those little girls around for two days through the zoo, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and our little apartment. We had enough footage by the end of the weekend to put together an hour long video.

I went out and bought a computer movie program and we began working on it right away. She was so uncoordinated with it at first and back then I didn't have much patience explaining programs to people. But we braved our way through it and ended up with a very good film which we were able to transfer to a VHS tape and give it to our nieces as a gift.

But the woman who sat at the computer the other night for three hours was not the same person who cursed the mouse because it wouldn't take her where she wanted to go three years ago. This woman was confident with her computer skills and with the program (although it is not the same program we started out with-they are all essentially the same). She was making production decisions on the fly, not even consulting me anymore about how to do it. She was trimming video clips, adding transitions and titles and she was having fun while doing it.

It just goes to show you that if you truly love what you're doing then the skills and experience will come with time. We started out just wanting to celebrate and share our child with our loved ones and this desire developed into an art form. The computer is our canvas and while we can't pin a video to the fridge, we can make scrapbook pages based on themes from our move and put those on the fridge.

Video Scrapbooking has become a method of communication for us; it allows us to talk about the things that mean the most to us-our family. In fact, we were communicating so well the other night that I got hit up to have another child-soon was the key word in that conversation. Perhaps we had better lay off the scrapbooking for a while and just teach others how to do it. Whew!

Joshua Minton is a father and husband as well as a writer. He currently serves as President and founding partner of Family Bliss Enterprises, Inc. but his background is in the health insurance industry where he has spent the last two years serving as Executive Business Analyst for the Executive Director of the nation's largest health insurer. Josh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University. He has published two novels, a book of poems and several short stories. He has won awards for his poetry and fiction, including the BGSU Alumni Book Award and was included in the 1999 edition of Who's Who in College America. Josh currently serves as President of Family Bliss Enterprise, Inc. and is webmaster and content editor of JOSHUAMINTON.COM where you can view samples of his essays, poetry, fiction and much more.


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